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Posted: 2019-01-08 18:00:00

On their first day in office, new cabinet members yesterday stressed on implementing their election manifesto in the next five years, including rooting out corruption and ensuring good governance at every level of the government.

They also spoke of turning the country into a “model of development,” with the private sector in the driving seat of the economy.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and 46 of her cabinet members took oath on Monday.

The new cabinet has 24 ministers including the PM, 19 state ministers and three deputy ministers. Of the 47-member cabinet, 27 are new faces.

PVT SECTOR IN DRIVING SEAT

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, who was planning minister in the previous cabinet, stressed on ensuring a business and investment friendly environment to attract investors and create jobs.

“Our private sector will be in the driving seat in the next five years,” he told reporters at the planning ministry.

The government's main target is development, growth, manufacturing and employment generation, he said. “The next budget will be prepared keeping these in mind.”

He also spoke of fixing the problems in the financial sector in consultation with the stakeholders and increase the revenue earnings.

The minister also hinted a change in the tax rate.

'THE FOURTH PILLAR OF THE STATE'

Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said that upstart online media outlets, which he said sometimes published baseless reports, would be appropriately dealt with.

"There are many upstart online news portals now. At times, they publish false news that malign people. I'll deal with the issue with your [journalists] help," he added.

“The media acts as the fourth pillar of the state and the mirror of the society,” he noted, adding, "Journalists have many problems. I know some of the problems and will try to learn about the other problems."

'WILL TRY OUR BEST'

Education Minister Dipu Moni said the main challenge of her ministry was to tackle the perennial problem of question paper leak, reports UNB.

“People have elected the government by casting their votes for the Awami League with some expectations. We'll try our best to fulfil that. The government will do whatever is necessary," she told reporters at her office.

She also called on all to work as a team and implement all the election pledges.

'FAIR PRICE FOR AGRO PRODUCTS'

Two big challenges for the agriculture ministry are to make farm products profitable and ensure safe and nutritious food, said Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque.

Food security is key to build a developed nation, he said. “We are working with that in our mind.”

The agro sector will be made profitable for the farmers by ensuring fair prices for their produces, he said.

URBAN BENEFITS IN RURAL AREAS

State Minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said the rapid growth of power generation would help turn villages into towns.

To do this, modern urban benefits will be ensured in every village. Also, the government will turn the youths into skilled manpower, he said.

“At the centre of this development will be power and energy,” he said, adding that they would deal with corruption with an iron hand.

COMMISSION TO PROBE BANGABANDHU KILLING

Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government had a plan to set up a commission to find out those behind the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He said the government had been trying to bring the fugitive killers of Bangabandhu back to the country, but it was not that easy.

Anisul said the principal secretary to the then prime minister Khaleda Zia had received the dead body of Shariful Haque Dalim, one of the killers of Bangabandhu, in the airport and arranged his burial. 

Six of the convicted killers of Bangabandhu are living abroad for long.

SAFE, DRUG-FREE SOCIETY

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal promised to ensure safety and security of the people.

He also warned the BNP of stern action if the party tried to commit violence or sabotage in the name of protests.

The BNP is a political party and it can do politics, but the general people do not like sabotage, arson attacks and vandalism, the minister said, reports BSS.

About building a drug-free society, he said, “This is our ongoing process as the government had declared zero tolerance for militancy, terrorism and illegal drugs. We will control the menace at any cost,” he added.

KIDNEY, CANCER HOSPITALS IN EVERY DIVISION

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malik said improving quality of healthcare would be the highest priority for his ministry.

“We want to ensure quality health services for all,” he said.

Citing the rising number of kidney and cancer patients in the country, he said at least one kidney hospital and one cancer hospital would be built in each division in the coming years.

Besides, the government would speed up the recruitment process of 10,000 doctors and their posting across the country.

“We will give special emphasis on the training of the doctors and nurses including in foreign countries,” he added.

TREMENDOUS CHALLENGES AHEAD

Terming Bangladesh a victorious nation, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said there were tremendous challenges ahead of the nation.

“We have some very important occasions in the years to come… The nation will celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu in 2020 and the golden jubilee of independence in 2021.

“Bangladesh will also graduate to middle income country by 2024 and developed country by 2041,” he said.

'WITHIN STIPULATED TIME'

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said he would work to complete the ongoing projects within the stipulated time.

The minister made the statement while talking to officials and employees of the ministry, read an official release.

He said he would take initiatives to increase the connectivity with different countries and urged all concerned to work together to keep the pace of development, reports BSS.

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said his ministry would pursue zero tolerance policy against corruption as per the Awami League's election manifesto.

“In the coming days, the overall activities of the industries ministry will reflect a strong position against corruption. The ministry will not accept corruption in any situation,” he said.

Outgoing Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said the ministry could contribute significantly to employment generation and poverty reduction.

CIVIC AMENITIES TO REACH VILLAGES

Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islam said all civic amenities would be made available to villages across the country.

"There will be surprises in the development of the infrastructure sector in the next five years. No corruption will be tolerated," he said while talking to reporters after joining office, reports UNB.

Tajul said the country would see balanced development if his ministry was strengthened.

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